Cookset 2017/12

My backpacking cook set-up is tidy. Not perfect, but I wanted everything to pack inside my 650ml Toaks mug, and that’s done. Everything inside means stove, fuel, wind screen and lighter fits under the lid. I like the simple elegance; it saves space, with one less thing (the fuel bottle) floating about in the pack. […]

Light Backpacking Gear

Light-weight your three-season backpacking gear to hike farther and higher, and capture the photographs of your dreams. Note: this is an update of a 2016/01/29 post. My ultalight Odyssey took root in a 1995 backpack to the Washington State Enchantments. On day one, we slogged over Aasgard Pass, a 4,550 ft elevation gain. My 55-pound […]

Lightning at Palouse Falls               2016/05

The flash of lightning greeted us as we emerged at dusk from a steep climb out of upper Palouse Canyon. My heart raced. Lightning isn’t unusual here, but this was a photo op not to be missed! I sped to the cliff overlooking Palouse Falls, a perfect ringside perch for the ensuing show. A lone […]

Backpacking Photographer, Light-weight Supporting Camera Gear        2016/01

Light-weight ideas for tripod, camera case, filters and other tools of the backpacking photographer I researched switching to a mirrorless camera for backpacking recently, figuring the weight savings and comparable picture quality would make the switch from a Canon 5D III a win. A driver of that investigation was that I skipped purchase the 50MP […]

Backpacking Tripod: Oben CT-2331 ____ 2014/08

After a long, long wait, I finally found a tripod that matched my spec for light-weight backpacking. I shoot while backpacking with a full-frame, Canon 5D Mark III, with lenses that range from a 14mm f/2.8 to a 70-200mm f/4 zoom. Body and lens, this is demanding stuff for a light-weight tripod. My criteria list […]

Ultralight Camera Bag—Reconsidered ____ 2014/03

In recent years while backpacking, I stowed my Canon 5D in a Tamrac 3330 Aero Zoom30 (7½W x 5D x 8H external). The 7 oz. bag is the lightest I’ve found that meets the need of housing a full-frame camera with zoom lens attached. It’s cheap at $20 (Amazon). In the field, I use the […]

A Most Important Thing ____ 2014/02

Early on, nature photographers are taught the necessity of using a tripod. The great teacher John Shaw calls the tripod a crucial, best single accessory. Pros use tripods. With a tripod you slow down, take control and become a better photographer. You can better fine tune compositions, pick and choose elements like line and shape, […]

2013 Favorite Images Critique ____ 2014/01

I wasn’t thinking I had many favorites when I created a 2013_best_images Collection in Lightroom from the filtered three-star-or-better images of 2013. But I found many I was quite fond of, and in a couple short sessions whittled those to ten. Often it’s the field experience as much as the composition that yields a favorite, […]

Lightroom 5 HSL Panel: More Pop and Mystery ____ 2013/12

Last year (2012/09 Photo Tip), I wrote about using Lightroom Development tools to create Pop and Mystery in a photo. The gist: darken skies, selectively increase color saturation and increase contrast. Ansel Adams famously said the negative is the score, the print the performance. The RAW file you create in camera is a digital negative; […]

Photo Tip: Microsoft ICE for panoramas ____ 2013/09

For Windows users—Vista, XP, Windows 7 or 8—Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), version 1.4.4, generates single or multi-row panoramas with a speed and accuracy that leaves Photoshop eating dust. It’s a free, no-frills, stand-alone application. I downloaded it last month after having some difficulty with Elements 10’s Photomerge Panorama. Re-loading Elements 10, as well as […]